An abbreviation is the shortened form of a term. It is generally formed using the first letters of every word of a multi-word term, but it can also simply be the contracted form of a word.
- USA, UK, EU, NATO, NASA, UN, MBA, CEO, VP, MD, ATM, URL, FYI, BCE
- e.g., i.e., a.m., p.m., etc., et al.
- kg, g, ms, mph, dc, bhp, rpm, kmps
- Dr., Prof., Rev., Mr., Inc., Corp., Jr., Mt., St., Jan., Sun.
Abbreviations are common in both formal and informal writing. They help avoid repeating long, complicated terms in a document and are useful when space is limited.
- Dr. Strange and Capt. Nemo attended the UN conference on DNA research held in the UK on Feb. 1, 2039, at 9 a.m., local time.
Many terms are better known by their abbreviated than their full forms. Some abbreviations (such as DNA, GPS, HTML) are listed as nouns in standard dictionaries (such as Merriam-Webster) and do not need to be explained at first use in a document.
Also read about the types of abbreviations, when to use them, and how to use them correctly in formal writings.